Read about the making of the pictures—Indigo’s roadtrip searching for chinese restaurants throughout Wisconsin right here on Stretcher!
Last night’s presentation at SFMOMA by poets Clark Coolidge and Bill Berkson showed the clear benefits of having people other than art historians talk about art, too. The poets—both important collaborators with Philip Guston—brought his paintings alive by reading poems while showing relevant slides of his work. Coolidge ended the event with stirring words from Guston himself, including “The only thing I have to do is get myself to paint while I’m dreaming.” The show comes down after Sunday.
Chelsea was abuzz with activity after a sleepy summer for the New York City fall art season. We Are Here, Venske & Spanle’s smurf-like creatures at Margaret Thatcher Projects, prove that marble isn’t a dead material; Jocelyne Alloucherie exhibits timely and haunting Monuments, composed of photographic shadows, and absences in sculptural form at Miller/Geisler Gallery; minimal still-life paintings by colorist Sydney Licht and enchanted drawings by Patte Loper are on view at lyonswiergallery; trippy confections by Barbara Takenaga at McKenzie Fine Art Inc.; and Siebren Versteeg’s real time journal entries imposed on newscaster footage steal the stage at Ten in One Gallery.
Although I never made it to Santa Monica’s art-filled Bergamot Station, there were plenty of other art offerings to peruse in Los Angeles.
Peres Projects, now happily ensconced on Chung King Road in Chinatown, didn’t disappoint with an exhibition by Anna Sew Hoy and a full roster of gallery artists showing in the large basement.
In the old POST space on Wilshire is Kontainer Gallery, showing an international roster of young artists. Cartography-esque abstract paintings by Brit Katie Pratt are currently on display, and Gallery Director Mihai Nicodim has also curated a lively group show at bank, a beautiful gallery space in the soon-to-be revitalized old banking district in downtown LA.
Also of note is young Tokyo-based painter Ai Yamaguchi’s amazing installation, Sukutoko, an imaginary “Teahouse of the Mountain Pass” at Roberts & Tilton.
If you didn’t attend the SRO screening of “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” at pond recently, you’ll have another chance on Wednesday 9/24. This award winning made for television documentary of the 2002 coup and kidnapping of the democratically elected Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is screening at ATA on Valencia. The documentary one ups Hollywood fantasy productions with real life political intrigue, social upheaval, danger, pathos, death, violence, roller coaster plot development, suspense, and the humor that arises even in the most trying of circumstances. Plus it’s always great to get the in depth story. Remember the US news on the subject?
Other New York City highlights were the witty and wicked pop-culture inspired installations of Jose Antonio Hernandez-Diez, and an exhibition honoring Fela with various contemporary artists paying homage to his activism, his artistry, and his legendary persona- both at the New Museum ; Abstuction curated by Eungie Joo featuring interesting video, textile and paintings by Jessica Bronson, Yunhee Min, Jessica Rankin and Lisa Sigal at Artists Space; and all of the beautiful brownstones in Brooklyn.
ID’s needed to enter tall buildings and a sense of foreboding filled the air. Luckily, the only bombs I saw were knitted by the Bay Area’s own Maria Porges in her timely and thought-provoking installation Under the Desk: Bombast Revisited, at Littlejohn Contemporary on 57th Street.
Afterwards, I made my way to the Jewish Museum on the upper east side to view a painting by Frida Kahlo that I had used in a youth project a few years ago. I went through a metal detector, which I hear is now standard procedure, to view the work in question, My Grandparents, My Parents and I, smaller than I anticipated but painstakenly painted, as is all of Kahlo’s work. The extensive permanent collection of Jewish objects and history also seemed quite appropriate for the date.
just one of my favorite quotes from the fab comic book-like catalog designed by second year CCA student Gene Shih for “Warped Space”, the show at the Logan Galleries at CCA. Curated by Ralph Rugoff, this exciting exhibition includes eye bending & shape shifting pieces that kick in that extra difference, be it conceptual or historical, making perceptual art fresh. The show includes wonderful pieces by Rachel Khedoori, Olafur Eliasson, Sandeep Mukherjee, and Jennifer Steinkamp, among others. Through Nov 15.
The Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang did what could be the loudest art piece ever in honor of the 150th anniversary of central Park last night. Guo-Qiang worked with legendary fireworks experts the Grucci family on the three-part show. The opener was a series of 600-foot fountains of fiery sparks that shot up at various locations. The second, and most absurdly out-of-control part, was called Light Cycle. In the artist’s rendering it was a 1,000 foot ring of fire hanging over the park. Viewing it as I did, from below, it just looked like an endless series of simultaneous explosions accompanied by deafening sounds. Maybe from further away you could see the ring. The final section was a series of soothing, white, streaming fireworks that illuminated the park. At this point the friend I was with got something in her eye (a firework?) and we went to the Central Park Police Station, where we listened to the officers field call after call, explaining that there had been a fireworks display and everything was ok.
a proposal he makes with a collage. In the tradition of Olmsted and Vaux he proposes a space that clears away the distractions of ubanity - a trapezoidal green park. See the NY Times article by Herbert Muschamp.
Tangle in the Garden, I would have had to pull them back on afterwards. It wasn’t just that her canvases and painted constructions were a blast of painter’s pleasure. Lederer’s show hung near two print shows, Vija Celmins’s work from the Anderson Collection and Henri Matisse’s Jazz series, setting up an unexpected and refreshing visual dialog. Lederer’s “tangles” are brilliantly colored foliage, foam, and snowflake shapes layered over a tonal substructure. Looking at them is like looking into a bush—the complexity of the individual leaf shapes is overwhelming, but if you step back and look at the plant whole, the structure is discernible. Moving into the next gallery, you can see Celmins tackling a similar problem—depicting the ocean’s chaotic surface with its underlying wave trains—in a very different way. Lederer’s work may be structurally similar to Celmins’s restrained images, but it feels more like the Matisse prints, exuberant and animated. The Jazz series is so familiar it’s easy to take for granted, but this context gave it a fresh twist. Lederer’s exhibition is up through Sunday, September 14 at the Mills College Art Museum, 5000 MacArthur Boulevard, in Oakland. For hours and directions call (510) 430-2164.
as gallery-goers packed lower Geary Street for September’s First Thursday. Highlights include Frances Stark and Judith Linhares with two very different painting shows at Gallery Paule Anglim; Stella Lai’s constructions at Lizabeth Oliveria; and Travis Somerville’s politically-tinged pieces at Catherine Clark Gallery.
The previous night, Griff Williams opened his slick paint-by-number-inspired paintings at Andrea Schwartz now located at the old Capp Street Project on 2nd Street; and on a beautiful Saturday afternoon in Berkeley, Ken Fandell and Kelsey Nicholson showed their conceptual, sculptural and photographic mettle at Traywick Gallery.
Do think it was a coincidence that Bush spoke on a Sunday night (very rare for a Presidential address) and was off just in time so people could tune into the Neo Con produced “DC 9/11: Time of Crisis” on the aptly titled station “Showtime”? For the gruesome details on this production (filmed in Canada with a non-union crew, how Patriotic!) check out this J. Hoberman analysis in the Village Voice.